I keep staring at the girl on the right in this picture. She is between 13-14 years old.... somewhere between 1987-88 ish.
Her hair style is in keeping with the trend of the day and she has a bff she loves to match outfits with.
Those shirts...if I remember right...were Kentucky shirts bought as souvenirs on our trip to the Bluegrass state one summer with the family she was sent to live with.
Those shorts were handmade by her bff Kristina Galouzis’ sweet Mama, Carol. Mama Carol always had her daughter in the cutest clothing...and she always included her bff when she made outfits. ❣️❤️
I keep staring at her eyes. By this time they had taken in so many scenes in vivid detail that I can’t help but wonder where the smile is coming from.
She is ME.
So strange to come face to face with a moment in time that you thought you would never step out of.
I don’t remember the picture or the day but I remember the shirts. I remember some of the trip but not much about the time with my friend.
I remember why that smile looks so forced. Because it is.
I was living 2... no 3 different lives.
1. A “normal” middle school girl with a bff she was inseparable with. One was not seen without the other...and they did everything together. They shared everything from clothing...to secrets...well ...almost everything.
2. A girl with a secret to keep. No matter what. Would she be able to keep this baby? She could only dream of holding the life she knew was inside her... within days she would be checked in to the familiar “clinic” in Clarksville, Tennessee where they knew her as “Patty”, HIS 38 year old daughter.
This would be the 2nd, no 3rd baby that she would have to abort in order to keep her Daddy alive and keep the “secret”.
3. A girl with resolve of steel. Her Daddy had raised her to fight from a young age. You don’t let anyone hurt you. You fight, you scream, you do WHATEVER it takes.
She did that.
She used the back of her head to try to break his nose...just like her Daddy taught her.
She got AWAY.
She RAN...and she reminded him of what her Daddy would do to him when he finds out!
But he had a gun and he knew exactly how to make her stop dead in her tracks.
“That’s ok. “Amanda” will do it and if your Daddy darkens my doorstep...I’ll blow his head off.”
“Amanda” was 5.
Her Daddy was her world.
She gave up.
She gave in.
For 3 years.
Those years are a blur and a stand-still all at the same time.
I was raped by my Dad’s best friend for 3 years and taken for so many abortions I can’t remember them all.
My Dad sent me to live with “him” after being hurt on the job. He needed so many surgeries and the hospital wasn’t the place for an 11 year old girl. He would need 24 hour care.
I was a decent student.
I attended pep rallies, dances and roller skated every Friday-Saturday night with my bff.
I loved Lisa, Lisa and the Cult Jam. “Head to Toe” was my favorite song.
I dreamed of being “normal” and having a boyfriend or being asked to prom.
I was in choir and home economics.
And I was always in “his” presence.
He was at every school meeting.
He chaperoned at the skating rink.
He was trusted by the school and the community.
He was seen as noble for taking in a young girl at 56 years old when him and his wife should be traveling and enjoying retirement life.
He was surrounded by young girls everywhere he went because he never let me out of his sight.
HE was my Dad’s “BEST” friend.